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Rhon Bell

Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys. Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout. Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.

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Posted: December 21, 2014

Snow before you go: Sugarloaf ski condition report

Written by: Rhon Bell
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Thursday was the best skiing day of my life. With a vacation day left to burn, I decided to book a lift ticket for Sugarloaf. Regret wasn’t long entering my mind when rain began pouring down my windshield as I left my driveway. I thought plans would be ruined, but as I entered Carrabassett Valley, those rain drops turned to flurries. The staff grinned from ear to ear with news that they had received upwards of 9″ of fresh powder. Christmas had come early!

The excitement mounts for the first run of the day

The excitement mounts for the first run of the day

Limited skiers on the mountain

Limited skiers on the mountain

Sugarloaf is a refreshing experience from first steps to last tracks. An ATV offers you a personal lift from the base lodge to the SuperQuad, which is the fastest lift I’ve ever ridden. When you have such a quick lift to higher elevations, you simply enjoy more runs throughout the afternoon! With the slopes almost empty on the weekday, I had King’s Landing, Double Bitter and Hayburner all to myself – not a person around and 10″ of fresh snow in some spots with nearly first tracks at 9am.

The Superquad is one of the fastest chairs I've ridden

The Superquad is one of the fastest chairs I’ve ridden

Fresh powder waits to be explored

Fresh powder waits to be explored

Mountain conditions felt like it was the height of winter with deep, fresh powder and 136 snow-packed trails open. You will not be disappointed in the journey north this early in the season. Heck, winter just began, but Sugarloaf is off to one of their best openings ever.

A patrol shack is a small winter hideout as the temperatures dip and the snow falls

A patrol shack is a small winter hideout as the temperatures dip and the snow falls

It'll surely be a White Christmas here on the slopes of Sugarloaf

It’ll surely be a White Christmas here on the slopes of Sugarloaf

If you were one of the skiers lucky enough to take part on Thursday, you should know Sugarloaf opened the famed Timberline lift (to the top). As the Timberline chair reached the 4,200 ft. mark, visibility was reduced to a handful of feet and exiting my seat, I sank up to my knees in the mountain snow – a great sign for the remainder of the afternoon!

Heading up Timberline to the top of Sugarloaf

Heading up Timberline to the top of Sugarloaf

Perhaps you’re already a “Loafer” and this just provides as positive reassurance it’s time to grab your skis, or maybe you’re like me and have only been to Sugarloaf a few times – let this be your reminder – Sugarloaf sets the “excitement standard” as to what skiing should offer, not only were the conditions incredible, but the beauty of the mountain was awe-inspiring.

Liquid confidence through the moguls

Liquid confidence through the moguls

You’ve heard me talk about Liftopia before, but I was able to snag my mid-week ticket for a mere $54. That’s a $30 savings for booking 1 day ahead of time. That’s your gas to the mountain, folks! Get out there and enjoy winter, whether it’s a trip to de-stress before or after Christma, we all deserve it! Merry Christmas! And be sure to send me an email with your best ski photos for a reader-submitted ski post coming soon.

A beautiful view over Carrabassett Valley

A beautiful view over Carrabassett Valley

 

 

 

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